Good thing we had this rental car!
At Plitvice Lakes, (click the link to see a collection of Google Images – the place was seriously amazing), the boyfriend and I were staying at a small lodge. We had arrived a little on the late side and hadn’t eaten since lunch so we were starving.
We were told the nearest restaurant was about half a mile away. We were told it was walkable, and after being in the car for several hours, we had decided that it would be nice to walk.
What we didn’t realize that there weren’t any sidewalks and we had to walk on the side of the road all the way to the restaurant. This wouldn’t have been bad on its own but because this was a bit in the middle of nowhere, okay, it WAS the middle of nowhere, there were very few street lights (read: one or two for the duration of our walk) and we were certain that oncoming traffic would have a problem seeing us. There were lots of tall trees, making every little noise or animal movement that much more amplified.
What we didn’t anticipate was hearing the locals at dinner tell us about the prevalence of black bears in the area. We were in the land of mountains, forest, waterfalls and lakes, so it made sense.
At some point during dinner I had decided that there was no way I was walking back to the lodge. After going back and forth with conversation that was along the lines of … him: I’ll handle the bear, you just run and me: are you crazy?, the boyfriend told me that he would walk back alone, get the car and come back to pick me up.
When he left, what I didn’t anticipate was how nervous those few minutes would be. What if he got attacked by a bear? How long do I wait before I get worried? What the heck am I supposed to do? Then, more practical questions like , will they speak English at the hospital? What will our families say? How would I return the car?
Thankfully he made it back with the car in a reasonable amount of time, picked my scared ass up and we headed back to the lodge together, without a bear sighting.